ATR is a French-Italian regional aircraft manufacturer based in Toulouse, France. ATR was formed in 1982 as a joint venture between Aerospatiale (now EADS) and Aeritalia (now Alenia Aeronautica, part of the Finmeccanica Group). The company produces the ATR 42 and ATR 72. Headquartered in Toulouse, France, ATR employs more than 800 people across Europe, with major operations in the Blagnac and St Martin areas of the Midi Pyrénées region. Total company revenues for 2009 were around USD1.4 billion.
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Myanmar’s aviation market has huge potential for both local and foreign carriers as the country has recorded some of the highest passenger growth rates in Asia since opening up in 2012. But there are also huge challenges, including infrastructure constraints, over-capacity and unprofitability.
Myanmar currently has eight carriers with at least another four preparing to launch services. Most of these carriers focus on the domestic market, operating similar routes with similar aircraft, a similar product and a similar business model. It is too many carriers given Myanmar’s domestic market consists of less than four million annual passengers. Consolidation is inevitable.
Burmese carriers are also now struggling to compete in Myanmar’s international market as foreign airlines have nearly tripled capacity since the market opened up. Burmese carriers transported less than 300,000 international passengers in the first three quarters of 2013, accounting for less than 16% of the total market.
Indonesia’s Merpati Nusantara Airlines is facing a financial crisis and is looking to recapitalise and restructure its network to survive. The government-owned carrier has already shrunk in recent years while all its competitors and Indonesia’s overall domestic market have expanded rapidly. But Merpati has held onto some trunk routes, where it competes against larger and stronger carriers.
The most logical solution is for Merpati to abandon competing against Indonesia’s main carriers and focus entirely on regional routes to remote areas. But the number of regional routes requiring government subsidy are declining.
More efficient Lion Air has a fast-growing regional subsidiary operating ATR 72s and is looking to add smaller turboprops to access an even larger chunk of Indonesia’s vast regional market. Garuda is also introducing ATR 72s in Nov-2013, leaving even less room for a government-backed regional carrier. The Indonesian government seems to recognise there is no longer a need to keep Merpati running.
Golden Myanmar Airlines is preparing for a major expansion phase as the low-cost start-up carrier adds over the next five months a second A320 and two ATR 72-600s.
The additional capacity will be primarily used to expand Golden Myanmar’s domestic network, which currently consists of just one route. The carrier will also add capacity on its only two international routes, Yangon to Bangkok and Singapore, but has decided against launching new scheduled international services in this phase of its development.
As Myanmar’s first LCC, Golden Myanmar is well positioned to take advantage of the huge opportunities in its local market. But there are also challenges as intense competition in the Myanmar market has resulted in over-capacity in most domestic and international routes.
Highlights from the third day at Farnborough 2012
The old regional airline, capacity-purchase model is well and truly broken and airlines must evolve to find a more profitable model, Dahlman Rose analyst Helane Becker said in her latest briefing in a harsh evaluation of the sector based on losses and current efforts to restructure.
Regionals have been evolving, expanding capacity purchase portfolios or acquiring branded operations such as Republic’s acquisition of Midwest and Frontier to form Frontier Airlines. Even so, that doesn’t seem enough simply because they are still so many aircraft in a vastly shrinking regional airline system.
Precision Air’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) will take place on 07-Oct-2011 when the carrier is listed on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange. Tanzania’s largest airline plans to use funds raised from the rights issue to fund fleet and route expansion. Tanzania’s transport sector is underdeveloped, although steps are being taken to encourage investment and improve infrastructure, in particular at rural airports. Better infrastructure will help drive domestic and regional trade, move the economy away from a reliance on agriculture and support tourism growth, all growing and important sectors in the Tanzanian economy.
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